2008-07-23 22:04:09 GMT 2008-07-24 06:04:09 (Beijing Time) xinhuanet
GENEVA, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Key members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) were engaged in intensive trade negotiations late Wednesday, trying to reach compromise on proposals tabled by WTO chief Pascal Lamy, trade sources said.
Lamy's proposals covered the core issues of agriculture and NAMA (non-agricultural market access), the two crucial areas that have stalled the Doha Round global trade talks in nearly seven years, the sources said.
Major agricultural topics include OTDS (overall trade-distorting domestic support), SPs (special products) and SSM (special safeguard mechanism), while major NAMA topics include anti-concentration clause, sectoral initiatives, sliding scale of coefficient and flexibility, etc.
Lamy put forward altogether 11 topics, some with specific figures, while others not, the sources said.
Trade ministers of a group of seven key WTO members were studying the Lamy proposals at a closed-door meeting, including the United States, the European Union, Japan, Australia, India, Brazil and China.
But close to midnight, they were still wrangling, showing no sign of convergence.
Trade and agricultural ministers from some 35 WTO members have gathered in Geneva since Monday, trying to break the deadlock in the Doha round, which was launched in 2001 with an aim to promote trade and development.